NIU’s gymnastics team defeats Central Michigan after trailing for most of the meet


By Maddie Barrett

DeKALB — Despite placing behind the Central Michigan University Chippewas for the majority of the meet, the Huskies pulled through and won against CMU with a score of 195.075-194.550. 

“We’re still not perfect; we’re still trying to get to what we’re capable of,” Head Coach Sam Morreale said. “I’m so proud of the group. All of them because we had kids step up into spots they’re usually not in because of filling in for other kids, and kids may be doing a little less than they’re used to just because we were protecting them.”

NIU began on vault while CMU began on the uneven parallel bars. Senior Cinny Lamberti and junior Gabby Welch both placed third overall with a score of 9.825. Lamberti’s personal record is 9.850, made at the March 15 Central Michigan meet. Welch matched her previous personal record of a 9.825 made at the March 17, 2018 Bowling Green State University meet.

After the first rotation, the Huskies came out on top with an overall score of 48.900 and CMU with a score of 48.800. CMU junior Kennedy Johnson tied for first on the uneven parallel bars with junior Morgan Hooper with a score of 9.800.

For the second rotation, NIU began on the uneven parallel bars while CMU competed on the vault. Chippewas senior Denelle Pedrick placed first on vault with a score of 9.900, matching her previous personal record of 9.900 made at the Feb. 22 Bowling Green meet.

NIU fell behind after the second rotation with a score of 97.900-97.600. The Chippewas moved onto the floor exercise, with Pedrick placing first overall with a score of 9.875. 

NIU competed on the balance beam for their third rotation, Hooper placed first overall with a score of 9.825, just under her personal record of 9.875 made at the Feb. 1, 2019 NIU Quad meet.

For the third rotation, CMU kept their place in first with a score of 146.450-146.325. NIU competed in the floor exercise for their final event while the Chippewas competed on the balance beam. 

Sophomore Tara Kofmehl placed third overall on floor with a score of 9.825. Her personal record is currently a 9.900 made at the Feb. 17 Ball State University meet. Pedrick placed first on floor with a score of 9.875.

“Honestly now that we did this, it’s doing it again,” Morreale said. “It’s finding that regularity. The key thing we can do is just keep working on details, little things like landings, cutting down deductions. When you’re in a season like this, that’s where you wanna be focused.”

The Huskies compete again 5 p.m. Friday in Ypsilanti, Michigan against Eastern Michigan University.